I didn’t walk until I was 18 months old, and I didn’t run a step until 1972, so maybe that’s why, five-plus decades later I’m still running—trying to catch up. I did the Denver Marathon, my first, in 1978, and for a couple of years after that I was truly obsessed. Now running has become an important and pleasurable part of my life.
The older I get, the more accessible record-setting has become. In the back of my mind, I’d always thought I’d quit when I turned 70, but when the time came I was having too much fun. At the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab, Utah, race organizers transposed my name and listed me as James Libby in the men’s division. So happens I beat all those old guys, and in doing so really fouled up their awards!
In the fall of 2011, I ran a 5k in 23:30 and a 10-mile race in 1:22:19, both good enough for national age-group records. I also hold an age-group record in the 10k, documented in a Running Times article in 2009. In 2012 I was inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame and received the USATF “Outstanding Masters Long Distance Runner” age-group award. In 2012 I received the “Outstanding Masters” age-group award. In January, 2013 I broke the age-group world record in the Disney World Half Marathon in Orlando, FL. In July I won the overall age-graded scale in the Double Road Race (a 10k followed by a 5k) in Denver. Pretty fun stuff for doing something I love.
I love the way running makes me feel; the chance to be outside, the people I meet, the opportunities for travel. Most of all, I love it that my four kids, their spouses and my 12 grandkids all understand that moving your body is part of life, something you just do.
"Libby James: A Long-Running Sensation," by Mackenzie Lobby, ESPNW
"Master's Spotlight - Libby James," USA Track and Field
"Bolder Boulder's Runner for the Ages," by Grace Hood, KUNC
"Libby James Sets World Best," Colorado Runner Magazine
"Casual Approach, Exceptional Performance," by Dr. Cathy Utzschneider, Ed.D., M.B.A.; featured in National Masters Running News
I also write about running, including a monthly column for The Coloradoan. (Read my first column, "Are You Still Running?") A version of these articles often find their way into my blog, AdLibs. Or I might do a freelance article such as "How to Do It Better," for Theta Magazine.
Surprise! I don't just run for fun and exercise. I also enjoy bicycling and have logged some significant miles. I’ve done RAGBRAI, that crazy bike ride across Iowa five times, and in 1986, when one daughter graduated from college and the other finished law school, we biked from Iowa to Maine carrying all our own stuff.